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Lower back pain is a severe issue that millions of Americans face, with a recent study showing more than 60 million Americans experience back pain. More than 8% of all adults suffer from chronic back pain. Moreover, the study also shows that back pain is one of the top ten costly conditions in the US.
However, there is one effective and easy way to deal with the lower back pain issues, which is walking. Building a habit of walking regularly can help you improve your overall health. It saves you from performing specific exercises or joining aerobics classes to relieve lower back pain.
Most people tend to lie down and avoid physical activity with they have lower back pain. They would likely rest on the couch and skip workouts because they think it might worsen their back pain. However, there are various reasons why walking with lower back pain can significantly help.
While you might want to lie down and enjoy resting when you have lower back pain, experts don't recommend it.
William Lauretti, DC, an associate professor at New York Chiropractic College, said, "Over the last 25 years or so, probably the one thing we've learned definitively about back pain and bed rest is that it is not OK. Instead, you want to be as active as you can be with your back pain." Let's go over a few reasons why walking is helpful with your lower back pain.
Being more active allows healthier blood to flow through your blood vessels, which increases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to other parts of the body. The best part is that you don't necessarily need to go to a gym to improve your blood flow.
Walking for a few minutes on a daily basis can help you boost your blood flow. Thus, it will help your heart increase the flow of oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles. So, if you have lower back pain for an extended period, you should take up healthy activities like walking as part of your daily routine.
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The best thing about incorporating walking into your routine is that it maintains your blood pressure. The heart starts beating faster when you exercise, pumping more blood into the body, which reduces any stiffness in your vessels. Therefore, it allows the blood in your body to flow more easily.
Chronic lower back pain increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases and puts you at a greater risk of developing hypertension. But by building a habit of walking and lightly jogging daily, you can maintain your blood pressure optimally while enjoying an active and healthier lifestyle.
Besides physical health, walking can also have a significant impact on your mental health. A regular habit of brisk walking can also improve your mood, since it promotes neural growth in the brain. Participating in healthy activities like walking can significantly impact your mental health, as fresh blood pumps into the brain allowing for better cognitive functionality.
Moreover, you can also increase self-esteem by building a healthy lifestyle. Since lower back pain can affect your mental health, you should take up activities like walking in your routine. This way, you can improve both your mental and physical health.
Going for a walk is an excellent way to burn extra calories. You can burn off some calories to maintain a healthy weight or reduce your weight that is putting a strain on your back. Additional, you can enjoy various benefits by burning extra calories, such as:
• Maintaining a healthy body temperature
• Improving mental health
• Digesting your food
• Circulating your blood
You can also burn more calories by covering more distance or increasing the speed at which you’re walking.
If you have a sedentary routine where you spend most of your time at a desk, you might feel like your bones and muscles are getting weaker. As a result, it can lead to chronic pain over time. So, it is better to stay active to ensure that your body is in great shape.
Once you start walking, you'll notice that your chronic lower back pain will reduce. Also, it can decrease stiffness throughout your body, helping you feel more active. All in all, walking can help you reduce the chances of future injury.
Walking is a strengthening workout that focuses on your heart, arms, legs, and every muscle of your body. If you only walk for half an hour every day, it will allow your muscles to engage more, increasing their strength and promoting stability.
Most importantly, walking will strengthen your lower back muscles, which will help alleviate lower back pain. By strengthening your muscles, you can also reduce fatigue and lower the chances of injury.
Walking and other forms of regular exercise improve circulation of lymph fluid throughout the body. This Lymph Fluid helps flush out any bacteria or toxins from inside the body. So even walking for a little over an hour every day can help remove muscle-damaging toxins from the body.
These toxins could be drugs or alcohol from the body, or other types of chemicals that often stay inside the body. Regularly walking can also help keep kidneys and liver function better, which improves your body’s natural defenses.
Incorporating activities such as brisk walking can help you increase flexibility in your body. Usually, people who perform little physical activity can experience stiffness in muscles and joints. Therefore, they should walk daily to increase the flexibility in their overall body.
Restricted mobility can be a primary reason for you experiencing pain in your lower back area. Walking will allow the muscles, joints, and ligaments in your lower body to stretch.
People with high cholesterol levels might find it difficult to exercise. They experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and other health issues. So, if you have high blood pressure, it is better to take a walk every day for a few minutes.
It will increase your heart rate and raise your HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol in your body. Walking is a much healthier way to bring down your cholesterol levels and offer additional health benefits.
Walking can also help improve your immune system. People with a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to fall sick than most active people. A study by a few researchers shows that walking for 30 to 45 minutes reduces the chances of catching a cold or experiencing lower back pain.
Therefore, you can improve your immune system to protect yourself from any diseases. You can go to an indoor gym or get a treadmill at your home if you live in a colder area.
The pain in your lower back can affect your legs as well, making it difficult for them to stand. That is where walking can help you strengthen the muscles in your lower body parts, especially your legs. The best way to strengthen your legs is by walking uphill.
While you might experience some lower back pain when walking uphill, it can help you strengthen the muscles in your legs and lower back.
Besides lower back pain, you might experience some stiffness in your knees or pelvis. People who have sedentary routines are likely to experience pain in their joints. Walking can help lubricate the muscles, which can protect them from weakening.
People with arthritis might also benefit from walking as they might see their pain reduce. Moreover, a study by Harvard University shows that people who walk around 5 to 6 miles every week have a better chance of preventing arthritis.
Last but not least, exercising helps your body produce and release endorphins. This hormone is a natural pain reliever. So, the more endorphins your body produces, the less lower back pain you will experience.
It can also help you improve your mood and provide various physical and mental health benefits by relaxing your body and relieving stress.
Walking can be a great exercise for people who spend most of their time sitting. Physical therapist Eric Robertson, DPT, points out, "We're largely a sedentary society, and so that sedentary lifestyle is the primary thing that we have to work on, so any sort of movement exercise, walking, working with a physical therapist to give you an individualized, customized program is a great idea."
Therefore, walking is an excellent way to deal with lower back pain, a problem that millions of Americans face. Incorporating this physical activity into your lifestyle can ensure you maintain a healthy body and save yourself from medications or surgeries for your lower back pain.
There is a possibility that you might face issues when walking with lower back pain. The body posture while walking can be a critical factor since it can result in lower back pain. Here are a few things you can try out.
• Make sure you have a proper body posture while walking. Keep your head up
• Don't slouch or recline too much since tensed shoulders can put a strain on your lower back while walking
• Practice proper footwork and don't strike the ground toe-first
• Try losing some weight
Walking is an excellent daily activity that does not require any equipment or a gym membership. You can simply walk in your neighborhood for 15 to 30 minutes and enjoy the numerous benefits it offers.